This is the second time I have raced IM70.3 in Mallorca and I knocked 11 mins off last years race coming in at 5:22:16 – being over 43 years old, I guess I can only be thankful that there was progress. What was remarkable this year was the 3,200 participants against 1900 in 2012 . I can understand the popularity and would suggest its due to the following;
- Off the back of a very cold, wet and dull winter in Northern Europe, this is the first race in the warm weather in Europe . The average temp on the day was 28 degrees.
- The bike ride is stunning as you ride up the mountains and feel like a Tour de France rider. My O-synce Navi2coach computer told me 850m of accent . The decent from the mountain is technical, fast and furious.
- The run is totally flat and down the seafront in Alcudia , where the crowds are ever present cheering you on, then back via the town. You repeat this three times so you can easily visualise each stage of the run which makes it more manageable.
- Being an IM event and organised by a German company, as you would expect, true to form, with military precision, it is well resourced and exactly as you would expect.
- Accommodation in Alcudia is cheap, the Mediterranean food is perfect.
They key difference this year was I rode my Planet X N2A Light with clip on tri bars. The picture in transition shows the set up. BTW, there were a number of PX bikes, mostly the phenomenally successful Exocet, but also many other bikes – Trek, Cevelo, Pinerello etc, all the usually suspects, but many with PX Pro Carbon deep rim wheels, similar to the ones I was riding. The affordability without compromise on quality is, I am sure, the key factor for other riders choosing this type of wheel set up – I was happy looking at them all!
Although I was 2.5mins slower than on the TT bike of last year, which you would expect, as at least half the course is flat / down hill , the sheer comfort in riding a road bike paid massive dividends on the run. If the course was flatter I may have gone with the Exocet, but hey, different horses for different courses and all that, and ultimately you need to work out what works best for you, but I would recommend, if you are suffering on the run, maybe a more “roady,” bike set up might be the answer.
Anyway, back to Blighty and work after a great week of riding!